Why yes, that is my child with the unbrushed hair and the untied shoes. Thanks for noticing. I'm quite proud of how I sent her to school this morning, although I know that she is less than thrilled.
Sure, she was crying when she walked out the door. But, at least she walked out the door before her father pulled out of the driveway. Because, if I had been driving, that wouldn't have been the case. I've left without her before. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
For some reason, she seems to think that it is my responsibility to make sure she is ready for school in the morning. She often expects me to pack her lunch (I make the food. I refuse to assemble the actual lunchbox), pack her bag and make sure she has everything she needs for the day. Funny. I don't remember that being part of the job description.
Diz, as far as I can recall, I am here to protect you. To love you. To raise you with values and an appreciation for the world around you. To give you a place to live and food to eat. After that, I'm pretty sure everything else is optional.
What? You think that's unfair? You think that I am out to get you because I refuse to baby you day in and day out?
That my dear, is where you are wrong.
I am not being mean.
I am not being unfair.
I do not wake each day plotting against you.
And I most definitely do not "do this to you EVERYDAY!," like you most eloquently said this morning as you struggled to get out the door. No my dear, you do that to yourself. You and you alone.
You are old enough to wake up each and every morning without me yelling at you. Consider yourself lucky that I check back to make sure you haven't fallen back asleep.
You are old enough to find an outfit to wear each and subsequently get yourself dressed each and every day. Consider yourself lucky that I do not yet require you to wash or purchase all of those outfits. It's coming. Be warned.
You are old enough to make yourself a healthy breakfast and to eat that breakfast in time to leave. Consider yourself lucky that you have food to eat. Some children aren't as fortunate.
You are old enough to pack your backpack, your lunchbox and whatever else there is to pack before heading out the door. It's not my job to know where all of your stuff is. Consider yourself lucky that your mom is OCD enough to have a strong grasp on where things are. Otherwise, your mornings would be even more stress inducing.
You are old enough to brush and style your hair. Consider yourself lucky that I don't just shave your head to save us all the drama you dish out each morning. Trust me, it would be easier for all of us.
You are old enough to tie your shoes and clean your glasses. Consider yourself lucky that I am willing to give you reminders to do both. I am not required to do so.
It is not my job to do any of these things. I am your mother. Not your servant. I love you endlessly, but I do not strive to make you soft, to convince you that you will always be waited upon, or to give you a false impression on what lies ahead for you when you leave our home. I will not do you that disservice.
The world is full of responsibilities. There are already many of which you are capable. And I expect, no demand, that you live up to those responsibilities. You need to learn to manage your time. You need to learn to face the consequences of forgetting to complete a task or showing up late. I will not always be there to protect you. These lessons I am teaching you now will help you for a lifetime. I'm not trying to be mean. I am trying to show you how the world works. And sometimes, the real world sucks.
So, the next time you are crying because you didn't give yourself enough time to get completely ready for school, remember that you did it to yourself. You didn't wake up early enough or you didn't pay attention to the clock. Not me. Not your father. And take stock in the fact that I will send you out the door with messy hair, untied shoes and your homework still on the table, each and every time.
Diz, that is my job - to teach you about consequences, not to do everything for you. Because I love you enough to know that consequences are exactly what you need.